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Reha Erzurumlu  and his group has published a new paper, Layers 3 and 4 neurons of the bilateral whisker-barrel cortex. Neuroscience, Available online 20 May 2022. In a Robo3 conditional knockout mouse brain, bilateral whisker representations form in the somatosensory thalamus and cortex. Layer 4 spiny stellate cells form much smaller barrels and their dendritic fields are more focalized and less complex, while layer 3 pyramidal cell dendrites are not affected. Bilateral whisker stimulation activates different but neighboring groups of layer 3 neurons, indicating lack of conversion of bilateral whisker inputs in the cortex. 

Dr. Iris Lindberg's group has published a manuscript "Sequestration of TDP-43216-414 Aggregates by Cytoplasmic Expression of the proSAAS Chaperone". ACS Chem Neurosci. 2022 May 12.  doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.2c00156. Online ahead of print. PMID: 35549000 This paper describes the sequestration of a pathogenic TDP-43 prion-like domain within the core of a self-assembled proSAAS chaperone sphere as well as provides detailed structure-function analysis. Meanwhile, Iris' U. Penn coauthors have demonstrated that proSAAS expression is cytoprotective in a yeast model system.

Dr. Manita Shakya, Postdoctoral Fellow and P.I. Dr. Iris Lindberg, were first and senior authors, respectively, of “The G209R Mutant Mouse as a Model for Human Pcsk1 Polyendocrinopathy,” which was published in Endocrinology on March 4, 2022.

Dr. Joseph Cheer in collaboration with National Institutes of Health (NIH) colleagues, was senior author of "Local Modulation by Presynaptic Receptors Controls Neuronal Communication and Behaviour,"which was published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience on February 28, 2022.

Benjamin Siemsen, PhD, was first author of “A Subset of Nucleus Accumbens Neurons Receiving Dense and Functional Prelimbic Cortical Input are Required for Cocaine Seeking,” which was published in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience on February 2, 2022.

Iris Lindberg, PhD, co-authored “Obesity, POMC, and POMC-processing Enzymes: Surprising Results from Animal Models,” which was selected as a Featured Article and published in Endocrinology on December 1, 2021.

Michy Kelly, PhD, was senior author of “The Role of PDE11A4 in Social Isolation-Induced Changes in Intracellular Signaling and Neuroinflammation,” which was accepted for publication in Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Hayelom Mekonen, PhD, was lead author on “A Silent Epidemic of Gross Congenital Malformations in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia – Hospital-Based Study,” which was published in Scientific Reports on October 26, 2021.

Marco Venniro, PhD, has published another paper Characterization of operant social interaction in rats: effects of access duration, effort, peer familiarity, housing conditions, and choice between social interaction vs. food or remifentanil.

Marco Venniro, PhD, was senior author of “Waving Through the Window: A Model of Volitional Social Interaction in Female Mice,” which was published in Biological Psychiatry on November 9, 2021.

Marco Venniro, PhD, and Kimberly Papastrat, Research Assistant, were among the co-authors of “Factors Modulating the Incubation of Drug and Non-Drug Craving and their Clinical Implications,” which was published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews on September 28, 2021.  Dr. Venniro was also lead author on “The Protective Effect of Operant Social Reward on Cocaine Self-Administration, Choice and Relapse is Dependent on Delay and Effort for the Social Reward,” which was published in Neuropsychopharmacology on August 16, 2021. 

Iris Lindberg, PhD, coauthored an invited mini-review on “Obesity, POMC, and POMC-processing Enzymes: Surprising Results From Animal Models,” which was published in the December 2021 issue of Endocrinology. 

Michy P. Kelly, PhD, Associate Professor, was senior author of “Aging Triggers an Upregulation of a Multitude of Cytokines in the Male and Especially the Female Rodent Hippocampus but More Discrete Changes in Other Brain Regions,” which published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation on September 22, 2021.

Michy P. Kelly, PhD, Associate Professor, was senior author of “A Genetic Basis for Friendship? Homophily for Membrane-Associated PDE11A-cAMP-CREB Signaling in CA1 of Hippocampus Dictates Mutual Social Preference in Male and Female Mice,” which was published in Molecular Psychiatry on July 28, 2021.

Olga Bocharova, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Kara Molesworth, Laboratory Specialist, Narayan Pandit, Aidan Fisher, and Olga Mychko, Laboratory Technicians, Natallia Makarava, Research Associate and Ilia Baskakov, PhD, Professor, were the authors of “Alzheimer’s Disease-Associated β-Amyloid does not Protect Against Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Infection in the Mouse Brain,” which was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) in July 2021. The publication was selected for the JBC Editors' Pick and covered by ALZFORUM.ORG

Dan Covey, PhD, former Assistant Professor, Edith Hernandez, former Medical Scientist Training Program student, Miguel Lujan, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, all in the laboratory of Joseph Cheer, PhD, Professor,  were the authors of “Chronic Augmentation of Endocannabinoid Levels Persistently Increases Dopaminergic Encoding of Reward Cost and Motivation,” which was published in the Journal of Neuroscience on July 6, 2021.

Manita Shakya, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow and Iris Lindberg, PhD, Professor, were respective first and senior authors on “Mice Lacking PC1/3 Expression in POMC-Expressing Cells Do Not Develop Obesity,” which was published in Endocrinology on March 10, 2021. The paper was selected as a featured article and the authors were invited to submit a mini-review on “Obesity, POMC, and POMC-processing enzymes” on the basis of the article.

Shannon Cole, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ramesh Chandra, PhD, Assistant Professor, and Mary Kay Lobo, PhD, Professor, were respective co-first and senior authors on “Cocaine-Induced Neuron Subtype Mitochondrial Dynamics through Egr3 Transcriptional Regulation,” which was published in Molecular Brain on June 29, 2021.

Sheila Engi, PhD, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, first author, and Natalie Zlebnik, PhD, Assistant Professor, senior author, both in the laboratory of Joseph Cheer, PhD, Professor, were among the co-authors of “Cocaine-induced Increases in Motivation Require 2-arachidonoylglycerol Mobilization and CB1 Receptor Activation in the Ventral Tegmental Area,” which will appear in the August 1, 2021 issue of Neuropharmacology Special Issue on Cannabinoids.

A highly informative review by Donna Calu, PhD and her trainees, Keefer & Gyawali, on projections between BLA and its cortical and striatal targets central to decision-making, and their role in substance use disorder.  

The Packard Center highlighted Dr. Mervyn Monteiro's recent work, showing that increasing the expression of the UBQLN1 gene in a UBQLN2 mouse model of ALS/FTD helped to alleviate some of the behavioral and molecular signs of disease

Drs. Iris Lindberg and Manita Shakya were the authors of “Mouse Models of Human Proprotein Convertase Insufficiency,” which was published in Endocrine Reviews on December 31, 2020.

Vassiliy Tsytsarev and Reha Erzurumlu were among the co-authors of “In Vivo Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging of Mouse Cortical Activity with Mesoscopic Optical Tomography,” which was published in Neurophotonics on December 2, 2020. 

Megan Fox, Antonio Figueiredo, Miriam S Menken and Mary Kay Lobo new manuscript: "Dendritic spine density is increased on nucleus accumbens D2 neurons after chronic social defeat". Sci Rep 10: 12393, 2020. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-69339-7

Schneider KN, Sciarillo XA, Nudelman JL, Cheer JF, Roesch MR. Anterior Cingulate Cortex Signals Attention in a Social Paradigm that Manipulates Reward and Shock]. Curr Biol. 2020;S0960-9822(20)31031-9. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.039

Donna Calu, and her team of talented trainees, published a paper showing that inputs from the amygdala to accumbens differentially regulate behaviors in sign- and goal-tracking rats. The paper appeared in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.


A review article by Reha Erzurumlu and Patricia Gaspar “How the barrel cortex became a working model for developmental plasticity. A historical perspective,” commemorating 50 years of the first publication on the barrel cortex in 1970 is in the press, in a special issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Society for Neuroscience.

A review article, "Secreted Chaperones in Neurodegeneration", by Kriti Chaplot, Tim Jarvela, and Iris Lindberg, was just accepted in Frontiers in Aging Neuros

Dr. Donna Calu and her student, Utsav Gyawali, were senior and lead authors, respectively, together with others from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and collaborators at NIDA, on a study entitled “Role of BNST CRFR1 receptors in the incubation of fentanyl seeking” that will be published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Natallia Makarava, Jennifer Chen-Yu Chang, Kara Molesworth, and Dr. Ilia V. Baskakov were authors of “Posttranslational modifications define the course of prion strain adaptation and disease phenotype,” which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 2, 2020, 10.1172/JCI138677.

Drs. Donna Calu and David Martin, along with others, were senior and lead authors, respectively on “Effects of 5-HT 2A Receptor Stimulation on Economic Demand for Fentanyl After Intermittent and Continuous Access Self-Administration in Male Rats,” in Addiction Biology, 2020 May 26; e12926. doi: 10.1111/adb.12926. Online ahead of print.

Drs. Michel Engeln and Mary Kay Lobo, along with Dr. Ronna Hertzano were among the authors of “Individual Differences in Stereotypy and Neuron Subtype Translatome With TrkB Deletion,” published in Molecular Psychiatry on May 4, 2020.